Bulgaria’s Reformist Bloc, an alliance of centrist and right-wing parties without seats in the current Parliament, is to transform into a political union, leaders of the member parties told a news conference on December 8 2013.
The Reformist Bloc, consisting of six parties, was set up after the May 2013 parliamentary elections. Its member parties are a mixture of those that previously held seats in Parliament and newer parties that have not.
The member parties are the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria, Meglena Kouneva’s Bulgaria for Citizens, Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, National Party Freedom and Honour, Blue Unity and the Union of Democratic Forces. A Green Party was involved earlier, but withdrew.
The more reliable among Bulgaria’s polling agencies give the Reformist Bloc strong chances of seats in Bulgaria’s next National Assembly. Meanwhile, Bulgarians are scheduled to vote in European Parliament elections on May 25 2014.
Hristo Panchugov of Blue Unity told the December 8 news conference that the Reformist Bloc would stand in the European Parliament elections in a coalition agreement and he envisaged the bloc growing into a single party no later than the end of 2014.
Details of the coalition agreement have not been finalised, but it expected that there will be a close coalition with overall federal leadership at the central level and in the regions.
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria leader Radan Kanev said that at their December 8 meeting, the leaders of the member parties had made a commitment to signing a political alliance between the parties of the bloc by the end of 2013 so that in 2014 the bloc could devote itself fully to success in the European Parliament elections “and, we hope, the early parliamentary elections”.
From the beginning of 2014, as a single political union, the Reformist Bloc would offer its plan to get Bulgaria out of its current crisis.
Kanev said that they would not make the old mistake of providing details of the negotiations to the media before the signing of the coalition agreement.
Union of Democratic Forces leader Bozhidar Loukarski said that while the specific form of the agreement currently was not clear, for now it was impossible to consider the idea of forming a party in such a short time.
Speaking on December 7, the first day of the weekend meeting of the leaders of the constituent parties, Bulgaria for Citizens leader Meglena Kouneva said that as there had been agreement on the priorities in society that had enabled Bulgaria to join the European Union, this would be done again.
Kouneva said that the Reformist Bloc brought together parties that wanted government to free of organised crime, wanted a fair public environment, economic growth, with an accent on economic development and proposals for major reforms of the judiciary and security field.
She said that the six steps proposed by the Reformist Bloc to lead Bulgaria out of the crisis began with the resignation of the current government, fresh parliamentary elections and the honest view that the next Parliament should be a true parliament of Bulgarian citizens.
The Reformist Bloc was achieving critical mass and at local government level, many local councillors already were working together in municipal councils.
“When, as we have done today, we have gathered together reformist and rightist forces, people have breathed a sigh of relief that we are together,” Kouneva said.